I just watched the first episode of the BBC's new version of Austen's eternal match-maker Emma.
The beautiful locales, gorgeous cinematography, the lovely costumes( beautiful use of colours!) are the things that stand out about this version after the first viewing. So does that mean I didn't like the cast, their performances, the script or the direction? No, not at all. I enjoyed the first episode though it did drag in places. It moves leisurely, as it probably should. After all getting the atmosphere right is exceedingly crucial for period pieces. I'll reserve my final judgement about this version after I see a few more episodes.
Romola Garai as Emma is interesting and I think she does fit my mental image of Emma, though sometimes, especially when she widens her eyes in surprise, bewilderment or excitement, I think she goes overboard. She does have a confident air though and I think she'll get better as the episodes pass by.
Jonny Lee Miller is not the Knightley I had in mind, but having said that, I'm willing to let him grow on me. I think he's one of those actors who you need to watch for a while before you can actually adore. I still like him and he's done quite a good job so far.
Prof.Dumbledore..sorry.. Michael Gambon is a great Mr. Woodhouse ( especially when he says 'No cake' for the wedding) and Louise Dylan playing Harriet Smith is excellent casting.
The surprise package: Tamsin Greig as Mrs. Bates. She plays her supremely annoying character to a tee!
In all, I'm looking forward to the rest of Emma. It's worth a watch!